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Pulled Pork… the Other Carnitas « What We’re Eating – A Food & Recipe Blog
Pulled Pork w/ Jus

Pulled Pork… the Other Carnitas

Pulled Pork w/ jus
Eater rating: 4.3 / 5  4.325

We’re eating slow-roasted pork shoulder that has been marinated with zesty citrus and ginger flavors for over 24 hours. The roasted pork was shredded and served on top of a refreshing jicama, carrot, radish, cucumber, and red onion salad dressed with tangy lemon vinaigrette. Perhaps the best part of the meal was the bowl of pan jus reduction served along side for our dipping pleasure.

Sliced Veggie Salad
Sliced Veggie Salad

A: mmm. I love me some pulled pork…. although it was really the bowl of pan jus for dipping that kicked this meat off.
T: Nowadays I think of pulled pork as “Carnitas Americanas”.
A: for good reason: it’s the same damn cut of pork!
T: yeah, and the way you cooked it made it similarly moist and tender. Although it tasted very different. mmm… I agree, the dipping jus was awesome. It had a nice tanginess to it. AND, it’s really fun to dip. I love dipping.
A: tyler? are you hooked on tobaccy? dipping is bad for you!
T: Now Mandy I’m not much for chewin tobaccy. It’s bad fer yer gums.
A: and we couldn’t have that! back to the meal at hand. if i was rating the pan jus alone i would give it a pretty damn high rating, but for the meal over all… eh, not nearly as high. i thought the meal was great. the salad was refreshing and the pork and jus mega tasty. my main qualm is that they didn’t really go as well together as i may have hoped. the pork was screaming for something bad for you and the healthy salad just wasn’t it. fortunately we had that unphotoed arroz rojo for some carbaliciousness.
T: too bad it was too hideous to even consider photoing 😉 Yeah, I enjoyed the jicama salad, and I enjoyed the meat separately. I give the meal a 4.4/5. A year ago this probably would have gotten a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’ve been spoiled. It was merely a 4.4. What’s your rating?
A: hmm, i think i’m gonna have to give this meal as a whole a rating of 4.25/5. good, but not entirely cohesive… now that pan jus…i give the pan jus (with a little of the citrus marinade in it) a 4.7/5. I seriously could have drunk that shit. it was awesome.
T: The pan jus was the best part of the meal for me too. I might have spooned it to myself, but I think drinking it might be a bit extreme. You might need to checkity check yourself.
A: before i wreckity wreck myself, foo.

A Pork Recipe, by Amanda
Citrus Marinated Pulled Pork w/ Jus

juice and zest from 2 navel oranges
juice and zest from 2 limes
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/8 cup garlic paste
1/8 cup ginger, minced
1/8 cup molassas
1/8 cup dark soy sauce
1/8 cup worchestershire
1 tbsp new mexican chile powder
1 tsp achiote, ground
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 boneless pork shoulder, about 4 lbs
kosher salt
1 cup chicken stock

In a large bowl whisk together the first 13 ingredients. Pour the marinade into a large (at least 1 gallon) sealable plastic bag. Place the pork into the bag with the marinade. Seal the bag; try to remove as much air from the bag as possible while sealing. Allow the pork to marinate, refrigerated, for at least four hours but optimally 24 hours.

After the pork has marinated, remove it from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving 1 cup. Liberally season the outside of the pork with kosher salt. Place the pork shoulder and 1 cup of marinade into a dutch oven or other high-sided oven-safe pot. Cover the dutch oven with foil. Roast the pork at 300 degrees for about 3 1/2 hours or until the pork easily slides off of a knife when pierced and the internal temperature is about 150 degrees.

Remove the pork from the oven and place onto a cutting board. Loosely cover the pork with aluminum foil and allow the pork to rest for at least 15 minutes. After the pork has rested, carefully pull the pork apart into bite-sized chunks.

While the pork is resting make the jus. Pour off as much of the fat from the roasting pan as you can without pouring off the pan juices as well (you will be able to see the fat on top and the dark juices beneath). Place the dutch oven with pan juices on to the stove over medium high heat. Add chicken stock to the pot. Simmer the jus for about 5 minutes. Serve the pulled pork with a side bowl of the jus for dipping. Enjoy!

19 comments so far:

  1. jef says:

    Oh man, that looks damn good. I know what you mean about trying to make a decent side and not having it jive with the dish as a whole.

    The salad DOES look yummy, but I think you’re right, it needs to be carb’ed up. (PEOPLE! Carbs AREN’T evil!)

  2. Nicole says:


    That pork photo has me drooling all over myself right now! And now I want some Carnitas! And tortillas! And, well, any Mexican food would do, really. Quit doing this to me!

  3. aria says:

    carnitas are the way to my heart…

  4. Sean says:

    Hells ya, I loves me some pulled pork. Had some recently at a friend’s house, and our Latina friend Sally called it American carnitas too. 🙂

  5. Regan says:

    Happy Birthday Amanda! I hope you have a wonderful day today!

  6. Amanda says:

    jef, i totally agreed. mmmm caaaaarbs! we really did eat carbs with this meal, we just didn’t photo them. oh well, c’est la vie, n’est pas?

    aw, nicole! i forget how vastly unattainable good mexican food must be in italy! we definitely take for granted the tacos we eat multiple times each week!

    aria, you’ve just confirmed that we must have know each other in a previous life…. just way too similiar! 😉

    mm hmmm, sean. we were channeling our inner latinas for this post. 😉 (that or san diego has taught us carnitas well!)

    Thanks so much Regan!

  7. Kristen says:

    Oh so yummy! Your photos are mouth watering.

  8. this sounds amazing. I can’t believe you slow roasted for 24 hrs! Have you experimented for a shorter roast time?

  9. matt says:

    I just popped this in the over for dinner tonight. I’ll keep you posted. If the smell of the marinade left on my hands is any indication, we’re in for a treat. I keep smelling my hands. Is that weird?

    And while I’m here, I may as well introduce myself. Hi. I’m Matt. I found your site about a week ago while doing a Google search for food blogs for recipe ideas, and I instantly fell in love. I’m a native San Diegan (now living in Denver for the past 7.5 years), so not only do I get great recipes and great pictures, but I also get SD refs that make me happy and homesick at the same time, all coming from a couple of potty-mouthed comedians. I’m home.

    You guys are awesome. Now mail me some shredded beef tacos from ‘Bertos.

  10. Amanda says:

    thanks kristen!

    steamy, actually you marinate the pork for 24 hours and you roast it for 3 1/2. 🙂 much easier that way!

    matt, hell yeah! it’s weird you keep smelling your hands. i suffer from the same weirdness. it’s a good thing. 😉 very nice to meet you, i’m amanda. (duh) what took you to denver? i just couldn’t deal with that cold. what part of san diego did you live in? what restaurants and such would you suggest we hit up, since, as you may or may not know, we’ve only lived here for a year and a half! (although i don’t see us leaving any time soon.) …. hmmm… oh yeah! if you’re a fellow potty mouth feel free to spew. i like to keep this site as un-family friendly as tyler will let me!

  11. matt says:

    FUCKIN ‘A!!!

    Ok, so first off, 5 lbs. of pork shoulder, 9 diners (4 of whom are 7 and under, and NO, they’re not all mine!), no leftovers. None. Nope. Not a scrap. Suffice to say, the pork was a hit. Kudos to you, oh masterful culinary artiste. Next time I make it, I’m not inviting anyone over so that I’m not denied my day-after-tacos. Fuckin leeches. 😉


    Whenever we go back to visit, I always plan my social events around the places I need to eat. The various ‘Bertos always get the most love from me, but I tend to fit the visits in with some of the establishments that are not franchised and that I hold near and dear. Here are some of my faves:

    1. Lorna’s Italian Kitchen (Clicky)
    Full disclosure: I worked here for 9+ years, I managed the place, and I met my wife here. But you know what? The food helped keep me here as long as I did. Hole in the wall, strip mall, mom and pop Italian restaurant in University City (at Governor Drive and Genessee Ave.) HUGE portions, and hands-down the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. The garlic will stay with you for a week, and you’ll savor every moment. There’s an appetizer on the menu called “Mateo’s Eggplant” named after yours truly. I rock.

    2. South Beach Bar and Grille (Clicky)
    I know you’re a fan of Hodad’s, so I gotta believe that you already know about South Beach, but in my mind, no other place embodies the San Diego experience like South Beach. Beer? Check. Amazingly fresh seafood cooked to order right before your eyes? Check. Smelly hippies playing hacky sack next to dirty bums drinking forties on the boardwalk with a backdrop of crashing waves and kelp-strewn beaches not more than a hundred yards from where you’re enjoying the previously two mentioned items? Check. Fuck, now I’m homesick again.

    3. Dao Son #2 (Clicky)
    Home of the Hot Chef. The place isn’t the easiest on the eyes, but damn, if they don’t make some good Vietnamese food. Their garlic chicken is breaded in a way that tastes like sweet pie crust, yet is evilly spicy. It confuses me, but in a good way. An old SD friend of mine that moved to New York named one of his bands after this place. This makes sense to me.

    4. Mama’s Bakery and Lebanese Deli (Clicky)
    I discovered this place because it was right next door to my good buddy’s bar (Livewire: cold beer, warm friends). It literally looks like a shack, but inside, magic happens. They make some of the best, and ridiculously cheap food that I’ve ever had. Spinach and cheese pies and chicken and garlic wraps (served on made-to-order flatbread) and insanely garlic-infused hummous. Pure love. I haven’t been there in ages, and I seem to have a memory that they may have closed. I hope that’s not the case, cause that place ruled.

    5. I swear I had a fifth recommendation, but I can’t remember it. I have like 20 second-string places to mention, but I wish I could remember this one. I blame a belly full of beer and pulled pork. Which, in a roundabout way, means that it’s your fault.

    I’d tell you all about Denver and the food here and the weather and the people and all that good stuff, but I’m beat. I’ll send you guys an email and not clog up your blog with all the mundane trivialities of my life.

    Thanks again for the pork recipe. Big thumbs-up from your newest Mile High fans. Let’s be friends.


    PS: Fuck. Shit. Ass. (HI TYLER!)

  12. Amanda says:

    first off, matt, thank fucking god they aren’t all yours! not that there’s any thing wrong with having four kids, but my god, what a chaotic life style that would be. secondly, hells yeah! i’m glad the pork was a hit. i’m (mildly) ashamed to say that it only took me and tyler about 3 meals to put down the whole damn roast by ourselves when we made this. i’m glutton to the pork gods! next time you make this you’ll have to conveniently forget to invite people over, thus ensuring your day-after tacos. 😉

    1) lorna’s- definitely going to have to try it. tyler’s mom is living in that neck of the woods (UTC) so we’re gonna have to drag her down there when we do a weekend meal. i’ll even force tyler to eat some of mateo’s eggplant. (he doesn’t like eggplant but i’m still trying to work on that one.)

    2) south beach bar and grill – we live about two blocks from this place (on narragansett) and they definitely are pretty much the best thing food-wise o.b. has going for it…. hmmm, other than Ortega’s, also on newport. heheeh btw, you described the ob scene to a T. smelly hippies and drunk bums! gotta love it… (seriously, it’s one of the reason’s we chose ob. i like to call it “laid back”.)

    3)Doa Son #2 is on the top of my list of your list of places to check out. we haven’t done too much vietnamese exploring in SD and i’ve been having some serious cravings.

    4)mama’s sounds right up my alley assuming that what you say is true: they have insanely garicky hummus. it’s really surprising i’m sure, but baton rouge has a huge greek and lebanese population with dozens of really good restaurants and we have just been unimpressed with what we’ve had out here… thus i’m definitely looking forward to trying this ditty out.

    5) i like being the scapegoat… everything is my fault! (you are allowed to use this in any situation, the toilet is clogged, amanda it’s your fault!…. the family cat has feline aids – my fault; you stub your toe on an uneven sidewalk, my fault… you get the picture)

    please do email when ever you get a chance. woo hoo! new friends!

  13. This sounds so so good. I love pulled pork!

  14. matt says:

    I remembered #5!!! The Park House Eatery (Clicky) in University Heights. One of our favorite places to eat breakfast (any place that makes their own sausage and decorates the sides of the plate with Sri Racha is ok by me). AND they make killer mimosas.

    Phew! I feel much better getting that off my chest. I still owe you an email, don’t I? Like they always say, “You can take the slacker out of San Diego, but you can’t take…” Shit. I forget how it goes now.

    Talk soon.

  15. cindy says:

    Hi – This recipe looks delish! However, I don’t know if in the “achiote.” Is this crucial to the recipe? Does it only add color or does it really impact the flavor? any substitution possible? Thanks. -cls

  16. Patty says:

    I love pulled pork and I like the idea of using the citrus perfect for the summer season!

  17. nanni says:

    Great recipe I have been spending hour looking at them.
    I think I will use some to make a video and post it on http://www.tastyfood.tv


  18. Angie says:

    I like to read other comments before committing to the recipe….which by the way this recipe sounds really good….I was turned off by the foul language by your readers….hmmmm makes me think twice if that’s the kind of ‘fare’ I would have to put up with!

  19. BeachGuy says:

    This recipe is virtually a yucatan style Puerco Pibil or cochinita recipe with the achiote and citrus juices. It’s yummy, but it’s not carnitas. Carnitas are carmelized and crunchy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside, and no achiote.